Police search undergrowth as man arrested for murder of missing woman

police search Gorleston

Police teams searching undergrowth in the Lowestoft Road area of Gorleston, where the footbridges span the inner relief road. - Credit: Liz Coates

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder in Gorleston as emergency crews continue to search the area.

Norfolk Police confirmed it had arrested a man in his 40s on suspicion of the murder of Patricia Holland who was last seen near her home in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, on Saturday (July 24) at around 9.20pm.

Patricia Holland, 83, was last seen at her home in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, at around 9.20pm on Saturday, July 24.

Patricia Holland, 83, was last seen at her home in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, at around 9.20pm on Saturday, July 24. - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

This morning (Tuesday, July 27) search teams were seen probing undergrowth using metre-long sticks and machetes in the area around her home, off Middlestone Close, and close to the Gorleston inner relief road.

Patricia Holland murder probe Gorleston

Police were seen searching undergrowth in the area around Patricia Holland's home in Lowestoft Road. - Credit: Liz Coates

There remained a heavy police presence with neighbours saying fire crews had searched the drains over night. They had also focused on the back garden where there is said to be a pond. Neighbours also reported seeing a bonfire in the garden over the weekend.

Forensic officers were this morning (July 27) seen entering the house in white suits.

An officer remained on watch at the property in the old part of Lowestoft Road close to the former Station Hotel pub overnight and today.

Lowestoft Road Gorleston

The heavy police presence in Lowestoft Road, Gorleston, on Tuesday July 27 as the force announced it had launched a murder investigation and arrested a man in his 40s. - Credit: Liz Coates

Leon Simmons, who lives nearby, said the scene was "eerie and quiet" despite the level of activity.

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Tracy and David Bessey who live opposite the detached house where Mrs Holland lived, reportedly with a lodger described as a homeless man she had befriended, said she was "a sweet lady."

"She would wave at everyone from the gate," Mrs Bessey, 60, said, adding she believed she was involved in church social groups  usually travelling from her home in a taxi.

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A friend of Mrs Holland's was in tears yesterday, fearing the worst,  she added.

Police are still appealing to the public to trace Patricia, described as being of a slight build, around 5ft 7ins tall but walks slightly bent over so may appear shorter, with a pale complexion and grey/brown shoulder length hair. She has mobility problems and usually walks with a walking frame.

They are also visible in the area conducting house to house enquiries and asking people for their CCTV footage.

Mrs Holland  was reported missing at 12.15pm on Sunday (July 25) when she could not be contacted and relatives became concerned about her whereabouts.

Any witnesses, or anyone with information, dash cam or ring doorbell footage in relation to this incident, is asked to contact Norfolk Police on 101 quoting Op Aeroplane and crime reference number: 36/53382/21.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, or via their online form: www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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